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Glass breakage – a growing phenomenon in large-scale PV

Solar modules manufactured with glass on both sides now represent a significant chunk of the products rolling out factories around the world. And with multiple advantages over polymer backsheets – including better transparency for bifacial modules – this is a growing trend. An alarming number of PV projects, however, have reported high levels of glass breakage, without any apparent cause. In this pv magazine Webinar, quality assurance experts from PI Berlin examine how this glass breakage occurs, and what can be done in the early project stages to mitigate it during project development.


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Glass breakage, without any extreme weather event or other obvious cause, is being reported on a small yet significant number of PV projects. This issue comes with the potential to damage PV module performance in the long term, or even cause safety hazards – and we will need to act fast to find both the cause and a practical solution.

And this is exactly what we’ll outline in this webinar: Thomas Weber, senior project manager at PI Berlin will take us through the types of glass breakage that the quality assurance specialists have observed in the field, and look to define their potential causes. And there is a wide variety of possibilities to analyze, from use of thinner, not fully tempered glass, issues with mounting system compatibility, incorrect installation or even the design of the module itself.

Ways to mitigate the problem vary just almost as widely, but all are centered on better testing before modules are deployed. Weber will also take us through the types of testing that could spot the problem before it occurs, as well as how to investigate and proceed with warranty claims or other action after glass breakage has been spotted.

pv magazine Webinar content:

  • Glass breakage failure patterns
  • The underlying causes
  • Mitigation approaches along the value chain
  • Investigating damage and making a claim
  • Q&A

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window. Mark Hutchins, editor at pv magazine, will be the moderator of this webinar.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.


Thomas Weber | Senior Project Manager, PI Berlin

Thomas Weber studied environmental engineering at the University of Applied Science Berlin and completed his diploma with a topic on post annealing treatments of silicon thin-film solar cells at the Helmholtz-Center Berlin. Since June 2008 he has been working as a project manager at PI Berlin, specializing in TF PID and Electroluminescence. Since May 2014 he has been head of service unit module technology, R&D. Meanwhile he works as an expert and technical advisor for module degradation topics in general.

Steven Xuereb | Executive Director, PI Berlin

Steven Xuereb is a renewable energy professional who has twenty-three years of experience both in the wind and solar industries. Currently he is an Executive Director of PI Berlin, leading the sales and project delivery departments, focusing on delivering independent engineering services for large scale solar plants. Before joining PI Berlin, Steven spent eight years procuring and developing solar and wind projects in North America, Chile and South Africa for Airtricity and Mainstream Renewable Power. His experience in the industry includes greenfield development, acquisitions, contracts management, research and development, certification and service operations. He is a mechanical engineer with a Master’s degree in renewable energy from the Universities of Oldenburg and Kassel.

Tristan Erion-Lorico | VP of Sales and Marketing, PV Evolution Labs (PVEL)

Tristan brings over 15 years of solar and electrical industry experience to PV Evolution Labs (PVEL). As VP of Sales and Marketing, he oversees PVEL’s commercial activities and collaborates with PV module buyers, investors, research institutions, and manufacturers to develop innovative performance and reliability test programs for product qualification. Tristan previously served as Product and quality manager for Silfab Solar, where he oversaw Silfab’s extended reliability testing and was responsible for new product development and new material qualification. He has also directed equipment procurement and technical site operations for solar project developers and Independent Power Producers at a range of projects across North America, South America, and Asia.


Mark Hutchins | Magazine Director, pv magazine

Mark Hutchins joined pv magazine as production editor for our monthly global title in September 2016. He also reports on upstream technology and markets, and new and emerging solar regions for both print and online. Mark has experience in copywriting, music journalism and the fast-paced world of startups.

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